Saturday, June 30, 2007

Malcolm X (1992, Spike Lee)

One of the most unlikely of masterpieces, an "important" movie that actually does justice to its subject. Not only that, but it's a great adaptation, a great grand epic, and a great entertainment to boot. MALCOLM X is the kind of movie that could have only been done right by a filmmaker who has both genius and a whole lot of bravado going for him. It's not perfect- I'm a bit iffy on the SPARTACUS-inspired coda, and I find the Theresa Randle subplot kind of offensive even while I recognize the intent behind it- but it's so powerful that the problems are of a piece with the tapestry of the movie as a whole. Most of all, MALCOLM X is a superior example of its genre because it's one of the few that really cut to the heart of the idea that great men and women are all products of their circumstances. Like him or not, Malcolm was important because he was called to action by his times, and oh man did he ever answer. Rating: ****.

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